July 2011

News on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

“The Fukushima nuclear plant has released radioactive materials equivalent to over twenty of Hiroshima-type atomic bombs and generated much more contaminants that stay long than that created by the atomic bomb. The resulting contamination is far worse than the contamination of a nuclear bomb”. Tatsuhiko Kodama, head of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo (source: YouTube).

“The earthquake hit in two waves, the first impact was so intense you could see the building shaking, the pipes buckling, and within minutes, I saw pipes bursting, including what I believe were cold water supply pipes. I was severely alarmed because that would mean that coolant couldn’t get to the reactor core, it melts down. You don’t have to have to be a nuclear scientist to figure that out.” A Fukushima Daiichi worker (source: The Atlantic Wire).

Storage rack at the rest area on the 2nd floor of Unit 1/2 Service Building. Source: TEPCO, July 21, 2011

  • Pacific waters off Japan’s Fukushima clearly affected by nuclear crisis: China’s oceanic administration
    According China’s State Oceanic Administration, waters in the Western Pacific region east and southeast of Japan’s Fukushima are “clearly affected” by the radioactive materials leaked from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
    Xinhuanet, July 31, 2011.

  • Kan promises thorough investigation of NISA scandal
    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) is accused by officials of Chubu Electric Power Co. of asking the utility to round up participants to comment favorably on nuclear energy at a 2007 symposium.
    Asahi Japan Watch, July 30, 2011.

  • Survey: 67% of hibakushas believe Japan should reduce nuclear power
    According a Kyodo News survey, some 67.1 percent of the remaining survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 believe Japan should reduce the number of nuclear power stations.
    Kyodo News, July 30, 2011.

  • Japan pushes to salvage its summer tourist season
    The earthquake and tsunami in March delivered a blow to the nation’s travel industry. Efforts to draw visitors include an appeal by Lady Gaga and online postings of radiation levels in Tokyo.
    Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2011.

  • Fukushima to provide lifetime thyroid tests in wake of nuclear crisis
    The Fukushima Prefectural Government decided on July 24 to provide lifetime thyroid gland tests for some 360,000 prefectural residents aged 18 and under to help detect thyroid cancer triggered by radiation from the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
    The Mainichi Daily News, July 25, 2011.

  • Japan Operator Shutting Down Nuclear Reactor After Malfunction
    Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), operator of the Oi nuclear power plant, has shut down the reactor 1 of the plant after a fault. There were no radioactive leaks.
    Currently in Japan are operating only 19 of the 54 nuclear reactors in the country. Many of those stopped for maintenance have not been reactivated because local governments have not allowed operators.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, July 16, 2011.

  • Hot Air Zone
    Naoto Kan’s statement taking on Japan’s nuclear industry isn’t likely to accomplish anything.
    Robert Dujarric, Foreign Policy, July 14, 2011.

  • Kan comes out for a society with no nuclear power plants
    Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan, has confirmed its position: “I came to believe we should aim for a society that does not depend on nuclear power. We can phase out the dependence on nuclear power plants and achieve a society that can work without nuclear power plants.”.
    Asahi Japan Watch, July 13, 2011.

  • Seeking a society without nuclear power generation: Japan must change course to create a nuclear-free society
    A recent Asahi Shimbun survey found 77 percent of respondents in favor of a phased decommissioning of nuclear power plants. With this front-page editorial, Asahi proposes a zero nuclear power generation society by 2050.
    Yoshinori Onoki, Asahi Shimbun, July 13, 2011.

  • Removal of reactor fuel won’t start until 2021
    The Daily Yomiuri, july 12, 2011.

  • Fateful Move Exposed Japan Plant
    In 1967, Tepco chopped 25 meters off the 35-meter natural seawall where the reactors were to be located. But the razing of the cliff also placed the reactors five meters below the level of 14- to 15-meter tsunami hitting the plant March 11.
    Chester Dawson e Yuka Hayashi, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2011.

  • Signs of summer absent as radiation fears grip Fukushima
    The beer gardens and the children playing in fountains are synonymous of summer in Fukushima. But the lively atmosphere of summer is absent in the streets and parks of town.
    Yuki Okado e Mitsumasa Inoue, Asahi Japan Watch, July 6, 2011.

  • A Fukushima, des taux de radioactivité quatre fois supérieurs à la limite légale
    According to Fukushima residents associations, levels of radioactivity in the soil of the city are up to four times the legal limit. The city of Fukushima is located 60 km from the nuclear power plant.
    French article. Le Monde, July 5, 2011.

  • Meltdown: What Really Happened at Fukushima?
    It’s been one of the mysteries of Japan’s ongoing nuclear disaster: How much of the damage did the March 11 earthquake inflict on Fukushima Daiichi’s reactors in the 40 minutes before the devastating tsunami arrived? The stakes are high: If the quake alone structurally compromised the plant and the safety of its nuclear fuel, then every other similar reactor in Japan is at risk.
    Jake Adelstein e David McNeill, The Atlantic Wire, July 2, 2011.

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